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tv   State of the Union  CNN  December 23, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PST

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platforms, i was given a pink slip instead. >> now, ktbs said in a statement, if harsh viewer comments are posted on the station's official websites there is a procedure to follow. miss rhonda lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued, rhonda lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. she was fired for continuing to violate company procedure. i'm sorry, but a company in the communications business should encourage communications with the public. rhonda lee was nothing but polite and the firing absurd. the station should ignore viewers in this facebook age? that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." if you miss a program go to itunes on monday and download the audio podcast or buy the video versions. just search reliable sources in the itunes store. "state of the union" with candy
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crowley begins right now. the nra steps into the gun debate and house speaker boehner gets tripped up on the fiscal cliff by his own party. today in the aftermath of newtown, the national rifle association offers a safe school plan. >> the only think that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun. >> our conversation with nra point man asa hutchinson. connecticut senator joe lieberman on the culture of violence. then the gop's civil war. >> not the outcome that i wanted, but that was the will of the house. >> republican versus republican on the fiscal cliff with congressman steven la tourest and mick mulvaney. weighing in, "usa today's" bureau chief susan page, ron brownstein and michael duffy, washington bureau chief for "time" magazine.
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i'm candy crowley. this is "state of the union." nine days after the mass shooting deaths in newtown, the president of the national rifle association joined the gun debate. >> i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. >> in a similar vein, lawmakers in a growing number of states including oklahoma, missouri, minnesota, south dakota, virginia and oregon have said they will consider laws allowing teachers and school administrators to carry firearms at school. the nra says they are moving ahead to have their national model school shield program in place to any schools that want it. joining me now to talk about the dangers and backlash is the program director asa hutchinson. thank you so much for joining us. one of the things that struck me
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listening to wayne laperriere, there was no mention of any gun control in favor or in opposition, so i wanted to get you on the record. will the nra oppose any attempt to put new gun laws in place? >> well, that's a separate debate. my responsibility is school safety, and i think that's where the debate should center. we've got to act in a very urgent fashion to protect the children. my responsibility is to convene a high-level panel of experts to develop a model program for our schools, new tools they can use that will help protect our children. one of those options should be armed guards who are trained, but that should be an option for the schools. one of the tools that they can utilize, but that's the debate. it shouldn't be on new legislation as much as it should be on what do we need to do to protect our children in school safety.
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that's my focus. >> debate, as you know, has a way of shaping itself, and you are working for the nra. so i'm trying to find out if there's anything in terms of gun control. we know what's out there, sir. we know that there is a -- people who want to reinstate the ban on certain kinds of semiautomatic assault weapons. we know that people want to try to ban some of those ammo clips that can shoot as many as 100 and up of bullets in a very short time. we know that there are those that want to close the loophole so that even if you buy a gun from a private owner, you to go through a background check. are any of those acceptable to the nra? >> well, i'm not going to speak for the nra on that issue. >> don't you speak for the nra? i'm just a little confused. you don't work for the nra? they don't pay you? >> i'm an independent consultant for the nra designed to focus on school safety. that is my mission. now, what i will say in terms of
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further gun control legislation is that that is the wrong part of the debate. i think the focus should be on school safety. you can have bans on assault weapons or whatever weapons you wish, and it's not going to protect from a violent person. it's going to take someone who has security in the school. timothy mcveigh used fertilizer as his weapon. so let's not focus on the weapon as much as our response capability and safety of the children. that's simply my responsibility, and that's what i'm going to do and we're going to take the best experts in across the country to give these options to the schools. >> without speaking for the nra, do you personally think that there is any place for further restrictions on guns, particularly these high capacity guns? >> that's a debate that will take place. what i'm saying is it's not the solution. i want to look for solutions for safety in schools, and that's
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not the solution. that's the wrong debate to have if you want to talk about protecting our children. we have one-third of our schools right now of the 23,000 schools that have armed guards. should the other two-thirds have armed guards? i certainly think it's an option that they should consider. it's not a novel approach, but it's a safety approach. there's other things that should be done. what i am going to be doing is looking at those options for the schools. >> you can understand that people will listen to the nra's response to focus on school safety and effort to move the debate and people saying wait a second, to put more guns into the schools seems like exactly the wrong answer, that more guns is the wrong answer. >> certainly that's a concern that is expressed.
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>> again, you go back through history, president clinton started the cops program where you have resource officers who are armed in the schools as a result of that. there is partial funding, but it's very limited and cut back it's insufficient obviously. it's going to take over $2 billion if you put a federal funded program for an armed person at every school. i think there's voluntary programs you can look at if you have trained people and we want to set up a model training for this. it always should be an option that the local school board finally makes the decision. i can understand skepticism, but i think that school safety is the debate. i think it is terrific that the nra is willing to fund experts and solutions that will be provided free of costs to the schools to hopefully create a voluntary program. >> it's more than skepticism. i want to read you two reactions to what the nra had to say. the first from mayor michael bloomberg who said they, meaning the nra, offered a paranoid vision of a more dangerous and violent america where everyone
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is armed and no place is same. -- safe. the nra's lobbyists blamed everyone but themselves for the crisis of gun violence. this is the new senator and he tweeted out walking out of another funeral and handed the nra transcript, the most revolting, tone-deaf statement i've ever seen. can i get your reaction to that reaction? >> well, i live by my own statements, and i hope they look at those as well. they want to focus the debate on new laws and new prohibitions, and i'm saying that's the wrong debate. that's their solution. i believe a better solution is school safety initiatives, one of those options being an armed presence we have in one-third of the schools. if you have an option of senzing a child to a school with an armed presence who are trained that can protect the children or a school that doesn't have that option, right now the polls show in america
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most people would select the more secure school, the one that invests in security. so let's help these schools, and let's don't have a false debate that's not going to increase safety in the long term for the most precious commodity in our society. >> i think that the debate certainly can be a wholistic one, but to take guns out of the debate seems naive at this point, listening to the public debate, you know, yes, it has to do with school security, but it also has to do with guns and also has to do with mental health, any number of things and it seems to many people that this sole approach by the nra does not take realty into consideration, that is, that some high capacity magazines and some of these big guns are killing our children and killing people the on the streets. >> candy, you're right in the context there should be a broad debate. actually, the mental health issues is a central part of it. i think the comprehensiveness of our databases and the
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information we have in regard to that is an important part of it. obviously, the violence in video games has been raised. there can be all of that debate. it's very appropriate. some of those issues can enhance safety. i have one singular focus, and it's something that should not be neglected. that's where i think the debate in america has been confused, is that we're going to come out with mandatory laws that every school has to have a teacher with a gun. i don't think teachers go to get their education to do that. they want -- that's why you need to have separate resource officers and armed guards to have that protection. >> let me ask you one final question, and that is, where does this end? let's say, fine, people want to put armed professionals inside schools to protect children. there was a movie theater shot up in aurora and a shopping mall that was shot up in tucson. where does it end? can you arm every place that a gunman might go? put ex-police officers,
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whatever? it seems it's never ending. >> you're right. i mean, it's a problem we have in our society, and, you know, movie theaters actually are making those decisions. many of them have retired police officers, off-duty police officers, malls have the same thing. so should we say we're not going to have the same type of protection when our children are going to school? certainly there's going to be some schools and some parts of the society that say we don't want do that investment, we will take the risk. but let's look simply at the schools right now, what our focus is, and i think this initiative for enhanced safety is the right direction. >> is that the kind of country that you want for your children and grandchildren, just armed people outside any number of public institutions? >> well, what i wouldn't want would be someone carrying a
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terribly large weapon outside of a school, but i think when you have a trained officer -- for example, what's more sensitive than our airplanes? people resisted having weapons on airplanes, but i oversaw the federal air marshals. it's a deterrent. no one sees that weapon, but they're protected on that airplane. it is a huge, positive impact on safety. schools are a sensitive environment as well, but you can provide safety and security with armed, trained personnel without putting fear in anyone. >> asa hutchinson heading up the nra school safety program. thank you for your time this morning, sir. >> thank you, candy. >> there's not much where the president and the nra see eye to eye but violence and the media may be one. up next, a cultural warrior in his own right, senator joe lieberman. to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh?
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statements seem to not reflect any understanding about the slaughter of children that happened in newtown, connecticut, just a little more than a week ago. it was a kind of hunker down. they could have made the same statement, they did make the same statement after earlier acts of mass violence. you know, no one is saying -- here's what bothered me. the nra spoke nra spoke pokespn willing to deal with every possible cause of gun violence except guns. they're right that there's a problem for our society. how do you spot a child or a person who's troubled before they become a killer? what's the influence of violence in our entertainment culture on people? it's obviously also true that the easy availability of guns including military style assault weapons is a contributing factor and you can't keep that off the table. i had hoped they would come to
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the table and say, everything is on the table. what this does mean is that the kind of new regulation of guns that president obama and vice president biden and a lot people would like to see enacted early next year, is not going to happen easily. it's going to be a battle. but the president and i think the vice president are ready to lead the fight. it's going to take the american people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of congress. >> do you think the nra still has the clout it once did? they have several times been able to rally their folks on capitol hill to vote against extension of the gun ban, things like that. >> we'll see. i mean, i think this situation is different than the other acts of mass violence, columbine, aurora, virginia tech, because here, you know, those 20 beautiful innocent
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and cause the loopholes to make sure the people who are in in his term "bad guys" don't have the opportunity to buy guns. >> the number of households that own a gun has gone down a bit, but there are a lot of guns out there. i want to read you actually on another part of this argument, and that is about the culture and about these video games. we now at least believe that this shooter, in fact, did like some of these violent video games. this comes from the general council of the entertainment consumers association who said we agree with the supreme court's decisions and the volumes of scientific research
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which all clearly state that there is no causal link between media violence and real life violence. do you agree with that? >> i don't agree with that, and i don't know what supreme court decision that person is thinking of. >> it was a free speech case. >> i mean, obviously, there's a free speech question, but i've spent a lot of time on this. most of the research that i've seen done shows that involvement, particularly intense involvement with violence in the entertainment culture does make people more aggressive. obviously, everybody who plays violent video games doesn't become a killer, but there are -- there's a vulnerable part of our population out there that is affected by it. i would say to the entertainment culture just as i said to the nra, take your blinders off, take your ear plugs out. 20 kids just got slaughtered, and we have to come to the table
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not defensively and acknowledge these are not just other people's kids, they could be our kids and grandkids next time. i think the entertainment culture has to accept some responsibility. you know, in almost every one of these cases of mass shootings, it's the same pattern. a young man troubled, reclusive, almost always involved in some kind of violent entertainment media gets guns and then kills a lot of people. we have to stop it. >> there's a lot here i wanted to ask you about, and i want to move on to senator chuck hagel, a man you know. we are led to believe he may be the person president obama wants to lead the defense department when secretary panetta leaves. you may know that a number of jewish organizations and folks on capitol hill have objected already to the idea of hagel saying he has had a number of anti-israeli votes, that he has said things they perceive as anti-israeli. has chuck hagel in your opinion disqualified himself because
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of these various stances from becoming secretary of defense? >> i served with chuck hagel and worked with him on some things. i like him and respect him. i wouldn't say that his votes disqualify him. if i were in the senate on the armed services committee and he was nominated, i would have some really serious questions to ask him. not just about israel, but to me, the most significant foreign policy challenge for president obama and our country and the world in the next year or two is iran and its nuclear weapons program. chuck hagel has had some very outlying votes on that. he's been -- >> he's wanted to establish communication with iran. # >> he's been consistently -- i think in that sense anybody who tries to communicate with iran has run into a brick wall, and chuck hagel has consistently been against economic sanctions to try to change the behavior of the islamic regime, the radical regime in tehran, which is the only way to do it short of war.
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so, in fact, as i look at chuck hagel's positions on iran, they seem to me to be quite different than president obama. now, president obama obviously has earned the right to nominate whoever he wants. i think this will be a very tough confirmation process. i don't know how it would end, but there are reasonable questions to ask and that chuck hagel will have to ask. >> finally in our last minute i need you to solve the fiscal cliff problem. specifically we all know that the speaker left. he couldn't get his caucus to join him on his backup plan, and he said hey, mr. president and senator reid, the majority leader in the senate, it's up to you guys to fix this. what is senator reid's next move should mitch mcconnell get into this? how is this playing out? >> well, candy, i will it tell you that in the aftermath of house republicans rejecting speaker boehner's so-called plan b, it's the first time i feel
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it's more likely that will go over the cliff than not. if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time. maybe ever in american history, because of the impact it will have on almost every american. taxes up, programs cut probably sending us back into a recession. >> so the ball now is clearly with the senate. senator reid and senator mcconnell have the ability to put this together again and pass something. it won't be a big, grand bargain to take care of the total debt, but they can do some things that will avoid the worst consequences going over the fiscal cliff. i can tell you that i've talked to a lot of republican colleagues in the senate who are favorably inclined toward the idea, let's protect the middle class from the tax cuts, raise taxes on people over $250,000 and stop
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those terrible cuts in defense, homeland security, education, et cetera. >> not much time left. senator, after 24 years in the u.s. senate you are retiring, but you still have work to do. so i'm not going to say good-bye to you now, because i imagine we might speak to you again. >> we might. you see all of this, i told my colleagues they're just doing it to make sure those of us retiring this year work every last day of the term. we're going to spend new year's eve here i believe. >> thanks for the cheery note. thank you. good to see you. president obama is calling on the holiday spirit to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog, have some christmas cookies, sing some christmas carols. >> but it may take more than divine inspiration. [ woman ] dear cat, your hair mixes with pollen and dust.
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six weeks after his unanimous re-election as speaker, john boehner faced a mini mutiny in his own congress. they said they would oppose his backup plan to keep tax cuts in place. anyone making more would see a tax hike. the speaker saw the setback as a
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se mantic problem. >> listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. now, i disagree with that characterization of the bill, but that impression was out there. now, we had a number of our members who just really didn't want to be perceived as having to raise taxes. that was the real issue. >> with that the speaker pulled his plan b from the house floor, told the president and senate democrats they needed to come up with something to avoid the fiscal cliff, and then he took off for ohio with a parting blast at the president that went off to hawaii. >> and he refuses to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with the entitlement reform and the big issues facing our nation. that's why we find ourselves here today. >> the holiday season is beginning to seem a lot more like groundhog day. when we return, long-time
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boehner ally and fellow ohioan steven latourette and south carolina's mick mulvaney. d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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with me ohio congressman steven latourette and
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congressman mick mulvaney. thank you for being here. you are one of those congressman who signaled at the least and probably said outright i'm not going to vote for the speaker's plan. it strikes me that you want to stand on principle, you're fighting for principle, no tax increases for everyone, and the net result will be tax increases for everyone. # >> the reason that i was no on plan b was that i was never convinced and still not convinced that the senate was ever going to take it up. people seem to assume in these discussions that all the house had to do was pass the bill and it would be the end of the discussion. i believed from the very beginning and continue to believe that the president has no interest at all in not going over the cliff. he wants to go over the cliff. everything i've looked at and seen out of the white house. >> why help him? >> what choice do we have? passing the plan b the other night would not have changed the outcome. we were going over the cliff before. we're going over the cliff now because it's what the president wants. you cannot negotiate with someone who does not want to negotiate. >> do you share -- i know you
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don't share his outlook on what to do with plan b. do you share the outlook the president is not interested? >> i don't know if the president is not interested. i don't think the president is not serious. >> he did win. >> no, no, no. he was serious about campaigning and he did win, and that's what plan b was all about. the speaker made it clear. he said look, the president is the president. nothing we can do about that. taxes are going up on every american. that's a fact. where the president has not been serious is the other side of the equation. he's all about taxes. he has this mandate on taxes. the spending cuts, the need to get us out of this mess, he hasn't been serious about those, and then that's unfortunate. so, you know, i think where mick and i may be part company is this needs the big deal. i'm okay to say, president, you won. you can tax these rich people you seem to dislike so much, but, you know what? come up with spending cuts. we're borrowing a trillion dollars a year, and he's not.
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>> i want to show you one of the latest cnn/orc polls, and the question was which party should compromise more? 53% thought the republicans should compromise more, and 41% said the democrats. so it's not just the president won. you've seen poll after poll. they blame republicans if their taxes go up. do you really -- you don't want anyone's taxes to go up, and yet, you are admitting here, saying i think everybody's taxes are going up. >> i don't think it's a question of who should compromise more. in order to get to a compromise both sides have to give on something they don't want, but the question i think is, who's supposed to lead. the president is the president. we talked about the fact he won an election, that's fine, not what steve or i wanted but it's the world we lead in. shouldn't the senate be leading? >> he went to -- 440 or something, i can't remember exactly, let's lift the ceiling on those who will keep their taxes in place. from 250 to 4 something. >> the president talks about a
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balanced deal, he has yet to propose one, and when the debt ceiling came up a year ago august, he and the speaker were working on a big deal. this doesn't require just a tax equation. this requires a big deal. the only thing the president has put on the table, is change cp, i $300 billion over ten years. >> adjusting how the cost of living is done for social security. >> second of all, this whole tax brouhaha we're fighting on their turf raises $90 billion a year. that would run the government from the end of the fiscal year september 30th to columbus day. this is a bigger problem than that. >> here's the thing, there was the big deal they seem to be so close to that you now want, but isn't the thing that scuttled that deal house republicans? >> absolutely not. # absolutely not. >> wasn't it that the speaker couldn't get you all behind him? >> no. nope. nope. >> you all loved that deal? >> no. we weren't the ones -- what's on the table right now from the white house, not the short-term
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fix that the president offered the other day, but the big deal we're talking about which you mentioned a few seconds ago, a dollar in tax increases for every 80 cents of spending reduction. what happened to the three to one deal, the five to one deal, the ten to one deal that was popular during the questions on the republican primary for president. where have those deals gone? they're gone. the president, it was widely documented as having said during the first round of these discussions when boehner said i put $800 billion on the table, the president said i get that for free because i won the election. that's not a negotiation. the president is not serious about preventing us from going over the cliff. think about it. what happens if we go over the cliff? we get rid of the bush-era tax cuts which the democrats have never liked and the military the holy grail to many folks in their party. i don't know why we're assuming the president doesn't want to go over the cliff. i believe his actions and not words and his actions say we're going over. >> has the speaker lost control of the caucus? >> i'll let mick speak to -- >> no. and i get asked that a lot the
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last couple days. i think the vote on thursday being portrayed as a vote on leadership and it wasn't. # >> he couldn't get it done. isn't that a view into his leadership? >> what's not widely reported is the broad base of opposition or at least the mix of the base of opposition. there were a lot of moderates against the plan on thursday night. there was a lot of conservatives for the plan. this was not a fight that divided conservatives and moderates within the party. this was a legislation-specific vote and not a vote on leadership. >> and i think john boehner, who is a pretty good friend of mine, is an institutionalist. he reached the conclusion that when you are faced with an intraj gent white house, a senate that doesn't seem to be able to get anything done, we should save as many people as possible. his argument was if you have, you know, museums on fire, there's 100 paintings and you can save 99 of them, does that mean you shouldn't go in because you can't save the 100th painting.
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that's where we found ourselves the other night and i was happy to be supportive. the reason john boehner has trouble managing the house republican conference, isn't a lack of leadership. because we have a lot of diverge the opinions and he lets people participate which wasn't the case in the past. >> right. and he's, you know, paying the tries pryce for that at the moment because this isn't what he wanted. let me ask you now, what's the strategy in the house? are you going to let it go over the cliff? is that it? >> it's up to the senate. >> so without senate action, the house lets it go. >> the democrats control the white house and senate. where is their plan and proposal? >> have you been promised by speaker boehner he will not put anything out there unless the majority of the majority in the republican -- the majority of the majority of republicans agrees with it? >> i have not heard that. >> i haven't either. >> that's been sort of those unwritten rules. >> the reason it's unwritten is because it came about during the hastert delay administration
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where he had to have a majority of majority. # boehner hasn't operated in that manner. if there was a deal he thought could pass and achieve what needs to be achieved for america and that is the revenue side plus the spending side he would put that on the floor and let the house work its will. that's his greatest strength and greatest weakness because that makes it difficult to run the house from time to time. >> congressmen, thank you for joining us. maybe we'll see you after christmas. >> merry christmas. >> we'll be right back. plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer up to 9 months. [ male announcer ] because enbrel®, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel,
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'twas the week before the fiscal cliff, all through the house, not a creature was stirring because they all left town. >> as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives everybody some perspective. >> the house would come back if needed and we're prepared to come back if needed. >> when we return, guns, the fiscal cliff and the potential nomination of chuck hagel. gulf! gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit.
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mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
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with me now "time" magazine editor michael duffy, susan page and our own cnn political analyst ron brownstein who has a day job. >> at the national journal. >> let's talk about the fiscal cliff. off of what we just learned from the congress men, we're going over this thing. >> look with the failure of plan b this week, there are only two options, we're either going over the fiscal cliff, or the house is ultimately going to have to pass a bill that a majority of house republicans oppose. we all agree the most significant thing we heard was that from congressman latourette john boehner was not necessarily wed to what is known as the hastert rule, the informal rule
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that says leadership will not bring a bill to the floor that not only has support from a jorty overall but a majority of majority. that's pretty clear after last week. either we're going over the cliff or they have to pass a bill through the house with democratic votes. >> i thought we were going to have a deal, maybe a small deal, not big deal. i don't think that anymore after this morning. it is more likely we're going over the cliff and the calculation is that the effect of doing that, the effect on the economy, the effect on the sense that washington can't govern itself is not so devastating that is an unthinkable possibility on either side. that's what we heard from these republican house members. that's what we're also hearing from the white house, that it is not so catastrophic that you can't consider going over the cliff. >> we've been told all along this is going to be horrific, go into recession, unemployment will shoot up and now not that big of a deal? >> it depends on what happens. if they turn around quickly and
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find the votes to do something larger it won't be. what's happened here this week i think that's important is we've gone from talking about a fairly large deal, $3 trillion, $4 trillion, would take some long-term sort of whacks at the deficit problem, to talk about something small here over the next five or six days, just raising the taxes on -- and no real entitlement cuts. latourette said when he left that there would be republican votes in the house for this measure, if there was a spending piece, and he said it had to be about two to one. that isn't on the table yet. they have a ways to go to get to that arrangement and so i think it will be, you know -- >> the world on the other side of the cliff is probably more difficult for republicans than democrats. as you pointed out in your question, if there is stalemate taxes go up on everyone. you know, that would take it -- there are some people that say that's the best outcome going back to the clinton tax rates. it takes a huge bite out of the deficit, but on balance neither side wants to do that today, but, you know, for republicans
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i think that's a tougher world to swallow. many suggest if you go over the cliff, they come back and then have to agree to extend the tax rates for everybody below some number. # >> that debt deal turns out to be brilliant or something. >> what starts to matter at that point, the simpson-bowles commission, that president obama didn't want to appoint and didn't pay attention to, that's front and center. the blueprint for how we move on. these two guys took on a task that was a fool's errands we thought, what happens to the commissions, nothing. we go back to them. >> let's talk about the die nam mick between senator reid and mcconnell. ball is in your court. are these two capable of coming up with something that the senate could pass but more importantly the house could pass? >> they're going to have to try by new year's eve here. >> three days, four days. >> it's interesting senator reid said he would like governor neil abercrombie to appoint the replacement for daniel anyway.
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-- inouyue. reid thinks he'll need that vote. they'll probably move it, but we have a senate sort of chapter here before new year's eve and then it goes back. i'm not optimistic about either. i think this has gotten harder on both scores. >> we're dealing with parties operating in separate realities. vast majority of republicans that won with 55% or above largely immune to the demographic currents that have made it hard to win the white house. democrats that look at this and say, president obama gave up too much in his final offer when he went up to $400,000 on the taxes. both sides, this is -- we've had decades of polarization and you are seeing on the debt ceiling and this, it is hard to find the bridges between the parties that are representing very different americas and different coalitions. >> they're also sort of looking at the possibility of going back to the minority, and a couple years the minority tends to cure the purists after a while. >> you would hope. one thing that did not happen this week, the democrats could
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not come to conclusion what cuts in spending they would like to make. they made some offers. pulled them back almost within 24 hours. that party is as hard over on spending as the republicans are on taxes. >> we haven't actually seen, we have watched and they're both arguing the other's issue. you know -- >> we kept thinking couple weeks ago, we said, just not time yet. they never do anything. we're now at the time. >> past time. >> and it does not feel like anybody is moving toward a deal. # >> it feels like we're in a different era and in the old days, even the '80s and '90s you came to the cliff and there was bob dole and pete dough min chi george mitchell and they found a way back. and now it is just much more difficult. the polarization is much more entrenched and harder for these parties to come together, even when they feel the alternative is worse. >> they no longer feel the alternative is worse. both sides seem to feel the alternative is better than if we act in the next ten days. >> i will move you to guns real quickly. so much going on with the fiscal
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cliff, it's hard to imagine they are going to jump into this gun debate really any time soon. i think people say, oh, we're going to act now on guns. well, now is a relative term on capitol hill. when will that happen? >> that can be any time in the next decade. we saw the president try to buy some time this week by appointing his task force and putting joe biden in charge of it. his first meeting is with cops. i suspect the second and third meeting will be with cops. there aren't a lot of other people to meet. it will be a long time as senator lieberman said before we have what is required to pass something, that could be months. >> look at your interview with congressman with hutchinson and the nra press conference on friday. that made it clear that americans agree what happened at sandy hook elementary is unspeakable and terrible and a tragedy. there is no consensus on what to do next. and that news conference underscored the fact that that divide has not gotten any narrower in the wake of that tragedy.
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>> there is no consensus but there has been no debate. democrats, i think, paralyzed by a myth. gun control is facing, you know, there is not as much support for gun control as there was 20 years ago, but the deterioration s has been primarily among the groups they are struggling with anyway, within the half of the electorate that is open for voting for a democrat, for the president in particular, there is significant support for gun control. two-thirds of educated white women, gun control over gun rights, still an audience, not a consensus. >> i have 30 seconds. i really need a yes or a no. if the president nominates chuck hagel to be the next pentagon chief, will he be approved in the u.s. senate? >> yes. >> yes. >> okay. unanimity. happy. happy holidays, thank you, all. ron brownstein, susan page, mike duffy. when we return, another kennedy eyes the senate seat in massachusetts. [ woman ] dear cat, your hair mixes with pollen and dust.
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before we leave. a check of the headlines. more than 90 people have been killed in an air strike on a bakery in syria's central hama province. the strike hit a town recently
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seized by rebels in a new push to take territory in hama. rebels have been fighting the government of president assad for 21 months. south korean officials say the rocket launched by north korea earlier this month shows the reclusive nation has developed the technology to fire a warhead capable of reaching the united states. despite international condemnation the launch seen as a boost to the credibility of north korea's new leader jim kim jong-un. monti credited with saving italy from a financial meltdown after stepping into the prime minister's role following the resignation of silvio berlusconi. monti's resignation sparked concern italy may slip back into a recession. president obama and member hers of the senate will gather today to say good-bye to